Earthquake Shutoff Valves

gas earthquake shutoff valve

EARTHQUAKE GAS SHUTOFF VALVE SANTA CLARITA

SANTA CLARITA HAS EARTHQUAKES TOO

Even if you are living in the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley you may forget that this is still Southern California. And being in Southern California, we are still subject to earthquakes. Although its not a requirement to have a seismic shutoff installed you may want to reconsider based on the fact that the majority of fires from the Northridge earthquake derived from gas leaks.

santa clarita seismic shutoff valveAs a contractor having built houses for a living it seems more likely to me that in an earthquake, your biggest fear should be being crushed by your house (except maybe the crawlspace), no, it’s my opinion that fire is a much greater threat to your safety. During an earthquake gas lines break filling the house with gas which may in turn cause fire or an expolsion. It was the 1994 Northridge catastrophe which brought about changes in the California building codes and laws changes such as the necessity for earthquake strapping and seismic gas shutoff valves.

THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF VALVES WHICH ARE POPULAR FOR USE IN THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY.

Earthquake shutoff valves which will automatically shut off the flow of gas into the building at the meter when significant movement is detected (usually 5.0+ magnitude)
Excess-flow valves automatically shut off the flow of gas into the building when a significant leak or over pressure surge occurs within the piping system of the structure downstream from the valves location.
santa clarita seismic shutoff valveThere are multiple manufactures of seismic shutoff valves and the prices for these valves starting from under a hundred dollars. The installation of the valve is on the customers side of thee fuel meter and usually performed by a plumber for $200-400 dollars and the permit is about $45 bucks.

SEISMIC GAS SHUT-OFF VALVE REQUIREMENTS

In the city of Los Angels, in accordance with ordnance 174478, gas seismic shutoff valves which are designed to shut off the flow of gas into a building in order to prevent a fire or explosion are required. This ordnance will apply to new buildings constructed after September 1, 1995. It will also apply to any commercial building after September 1, 1995 performing permitted alterations of estimated to be larger than $10,000.

This provision applies to residential buildings also performing permitted alterations having a permit issues after January the 10th, 1998 and the work values must be equal to or greater than $10,000. It also applies to any building performing alterations to the fuel piping system or fuel meter. All residential buildings including condominiums which possess a separate meter, sold after the date of Febuary 5th, 1998 must possess a seismic shutoff valve installed prior to the close of escrow.

earthquake prepare booklet